Laura Shoe

Aug 072014
 
Save your Lightroom photo work

For those new to Lightroom, naturally you want to understand how to save your work. You’ll notice that the File menu in the menu bar suspiciously does not have “File Save” and “File Save As …” options. The short answer is that as you work in Lightroom – adding keywords, stars, flags and other metadata; developing your photos; creating collections and more, your work is being saved automatically, so there is no need to do a “save” before you wrap up your session.

More on Saving and the Lightroom Catalog

It’s worth understanding this in more detail though. First, Lightroom works non-destructively – meaning that it never touches your master photo files. Instead, your Develop work is saved automatically behind the scenes as a set of instructions.  In Lightroom you are essentially seeing the instructions hovering over your master photos, but the instructions are not baked in to your  masters. This is great, as it means that you can undo all or part of your work at any time – you can’t ruin your photo as you work on it!

lightroom-non-destructive-editing-small

This work or instructions are automatically saved into Lightroom’s catalog. The catalog is simply a file on your computer where your work on each of your photos in Lightroom is stored, along with other information about your photos. The catalog doesn’t contain the photos themselves, just information about them. (Read more about the Lightroom catalog and how it relates to your photos in this article.)

Is Exporting Another Way to Save My Work?

When you want to share your edited photos with the outside world, of course you can’t send people the originals plus a set of Lightroom instructions. This is when you need to create copies of your photos, with the work “baked in”. We do this through the Export dialog – usually we create JPEG copies to share online, through email, to send out to print, etc.

Note that many users believe they need to export all their worked files in order to save their work – this is not the case, and will simply clutter up your hard drive with unnecessary copies. Furthermore, on these copies you can’t undo your work – it has been baked in. For most people, export only when you want to share photos, and once you do, delete the exported copies, since you can always create new ones to share.

The Importance of Catalog Backups

You can imagine, since the Lightroom catalog contains all the work you have ever done on any of your photos, that it is important to back it up – to protect you against two potential crises: (1) the catalog file could become corrupt and be impossible to open, and (2) your hard drive could crash or be stolen or damaged. To protect against the first, back up your catalog using the prompt when Lightroom closes – this creates a series of backups over time that you can revert to, should your main catalog become corrupt. To protect against the second, use backup software outside of Lightroom (Mac Time Machine, Windows Backup, other third party software) to back up the hard drives your catalog and photos are stored on. Read more about backing up your Lightroom catalog and photos in this article. To see where your catalog is stored, in the menu bar in the top left, go to Lightroom (Mac) or Edit (PC) , Catalog Settings. It is listed on the General tab:

lightroom-catalog-location

What I have explained so far is all that I believe beginners absolutely must know. For those who want an additional layer of protection and don’t mind delving into the topic more, there is also the option to “save to XMP“, which also puts the instruction data in the folders along with your master photos. I will cover this topic in another post soon, but for now understand that this is not a substitute for saving into the catalog. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter below to hear about new articles and tutorials!


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Jul 302014
 
Lightroom 5.6 Update
Adobe has announced that Lightroom 5.6 is now available. This is a free update to Lightroom 5, with new camera support, new lens profiles, and bug fixes. If Lightroom doesn’t prompt you to update when you open it, go to Help > Check for Updates (or download the update directly from the links provided at the end of this article). Once the file downloads, double-click on it to run the installation wizard. Creative Cloud subscribers can also update through the CC desktop app. Note that it is always a good idea to back up your Lightroom catalog before updating. To do this, go to Edit (PC) / Lightroom (Mac) > Catalog Settings, set the backup prompt to When Lightroom Next Exits, then close Lightroom and choose Backup when prompted.
New Camera Support in Lightroom 5.6
 
  • Nikon D810
  • Panasonic LUMIX AG-GH4
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ1000
New Lens Profile Support in Lightroom 5.6
 
Mount Name
Canon Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
Canon Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
Canon Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD A010E
Canon Tamron 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 DiIII VC B011EM
Nikon Nikon 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300mm f/4.5 – 5.6
Nikon Tamon 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD A010N
Pentax Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM A013
Phase One A/S Schneider Kreuznach LS 40-80mm f/4.0-5.6
Sony Alpha Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM A013
Sony Alpha Sony 28mm f/2.8
Sony Alpha Sony 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye
Sony Alpha Sony 100mm f/2.8 MACRO
Sony Alpha Sony DT 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6
Sony Alpha Sony DT 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3
Sony Alpha Sony DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3
Sony Alpha Sony 70-200mm f/2.8G
Sony Alpha Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM
Sony Alpha Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM
Sony Alpha Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM II
Sony Alpha Sony 135mm f/2.8 [T4.5] STF
Sony Alpha Sony 300mm f/2.8 G SSM II
Sony E Zeiss Touit 2.8/50M

Note that the profile for the newly added Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens is not automatically located when applying lens profile corrections. This is a bug and we will fix it in an future release. The workaround is to manually select the profile and choose “Save New Lens Profile Defaults” in the Setup menu on the Profile tab. From then on, the lens should automatically select when the profile is enabled.
Bugs Corrected in Lightroom 5.6
 
  • Collections with a custom sort order would sometimes not properly sync with Lightroom mobile. (bug #3787114)
  • Star ratings set in Lightroom mobile did not properly sync to Lightroom desktop. Please note that this only occurred on images that were added to Lightroom mobile from the camera roll (bug #3790201)
  • Star ratings would sometimes not sync from Lightroom desktop to Lightroom mobile. Please note that this only occurred when attempting to sync a Collection that contained more than 100 photos that already contained star ratings. (bug #3786012)
  • Unable to open sRaw files from the Nikon D810. Please note that this only impacted customers that converted D810 sRaw files to DNG in either Camera Raw 8.6 RC or DNG Converter 8.6 RC. (bug #3792432)
  • Lightroom occasionally crashed when changing image selection on Windows. Please note that this only occurred on the Windows platform.
  • Lightroom would run in reduced functionality mode when it should not. (bug #3780138)
Continue reading »
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Jul 112014
 
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Subscription
Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Program subscription for $9.99/month is a great deal in my opinion, based on what you get:
  • Always up-to-date versions of Lightroom and Photoshop (no need to pay more to upgrade to Lightroom’s next major upgrade when it comes out!)
  • Syncing to Lightroom mobile for the iPad and iPhone (and Android sometime this year)
  • 2 GB of cloud storage
  • A Behance.net pro account
However, potential subscribers and users of Lightroom have had a major concern – if you stopped paying, you could lose access not only to Lightroom, but also to your Lightroom catalog – which contains all the work you have ever done on your photos. Well, no more! Starting with Lightroom 5.5, if your subscription expires and you choose not to renew, you can still use Lightroom – forever. The catch is that you will be locked out of the Develop and Map modules, and you won’t be able to sync to your mobile devices.  While you therefore won’t be able to do additional photo editing other than Quick Develop work, you can continue to organize and manage your photos (even import new photos), and create any kind of output from Lightroom (export copies of your photos, print; and make books, slideshows and web galleries.)

Update/Clarification: You will not lose the Develop work you have done prior to your subscription expiring. If it does expire you will be locked out of doing additional Develop work, but you can create output that has your edits, you can reset your photo to undo your edits, you can refine them with the Quick Develop panel, and you can save them to XMP so that they are available in other programs that read this information (such as Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw.)

This is also the case if you get a free 30-day trial of Lightroom!

Adobe clearly has confidence that their Creative Cloud offering and Lightroom’s Develop editing tools are compelling enough that you will continue to subscribe.

Note that if instead of a subscription you have or purchase the perpetual-license stand-alone version rather than the Creative Cloud subscription you will continue to have access to all modules in the Lightroom version you purchased. Adobe has stated that they will continue to offer these perpetual-license stand-alone versions “indefinitely”.


 

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Jul 032014
 
Lightroom before and after

In this sample video tutorial from my Lightroom 5: The Fundamentals & Beyond video series, I show you all the different ways to view Before and After in Lightroom:

  • Working with the History panel
  • Using the “\” key
  • Toggling on and off specific panel and tool work
  • The Y/Y button

I also show you how to change the definition of “Before” so you can compare any previous step to your current work.

For best quality, hit Play, then click on the Youtube sprocket wheel in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.
(For even better quality, consider purchasing the full series.)

Check out Lightroom 5: The Fundamentals & Beyond for more in-depth expert Lightroom training! Also available in Lightroom 4 and Lightroom 3 versions.


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Jun 182014
 
Lightroom 5.5 mobile iPhone

Today Adobe released Lightroom 5.5 along with Lightroom mobile for the iPhone. Along with the usual new camera support, new lens profiles, and bug fixes, the free Lightroom 5.5 update includes support for syncing with the new iPhone app, and a few other changes targeted at Lightroom mobile and Creative Cloud subscribers. Watch my video below to see the changes in action, or read on below the video for details.

Creative Cloud subscribers: update through the CC app. Otherwise, to install the free update, if Lightroom doesn’t prompt you to update, go to Help>Check for Updates, download the file, then double-click on it to run the installation wizard. If Check for Updates doesn’t find the update, try again later or download the update at the link at the bottom of this page. As with all updates, I highly recommend backing up your catalog before updating.

Video: What’s New in Lightroom 5.5, Lightroom Mobile
and the Creative Cloud Photography Program

For best quality, hit Play, then click on the Youtube sprocket wheel in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.

What’s New

  • Syncing to and from the new free Lightroom mobile app for iPhone. Functionality is essentially the same as the iPad app (released with Lightroom 5.4.)
  • In addition to picking and rejecting photos on the iPad and iPhone, we can now add and sync rating stars.
Rating Stars Lightroom Mobile

Assigning Stars in Lightroom Mobile

  • Collections in Lightroom desktop chosen for sync: can be directly shared to the web via new context menu options: Continue reading »
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Jun 182014
 
Photoshop CC

Today in a live event Adobe announced the release of new versions of Photoshop CC and 13 other CC desktop apps, plus  Lightroom 5.5 (discussed in another blog post.)

Photoshop CC 2014 new features of particular interest to photographers:

  • Focus Mask, which allows automatic selection of in-focus objects.
  • New motion blur filters in the Blur Gallery (with live preview):

- Spin blur: cusomize an oval or circular motion blur
- Path blur: create motion blurs along user defined paths

  • Improvements to Content Aware Features to allow for better color blending

In addition there are many design-related enhancements, such as smarter smart guides, new text features, improved layer comps and smart object enhancements, as well as other smaller changes.

Note that due to technical constraints, the Oil Paint filter has been removed. If you would like to continue to use it, do not uninstall the last version of Photoshop CC (they can both reside on your computer.)

Watch Terry White’s video on What’s New below:

Continue reading »

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